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16th April, 2020

ATO encourages businesses to prepare for JobKeeper enrolment

Eligible employers need to take steps now if they’re to receive the first round of JobKeeper payments, which are due to begin being paid by the ATO from the first week of May 2020.

As one of the chief elements of the Government’s COVID-19-related stimulus, the JobKeeper scheme aims to prevent as many employees from losing their jobs for the duration of the lockdown.

Since the legislation was passed last week, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has been working hard to set up the processes required for eligible employers to enrol and apply for JobKeeper payments.

What is the JobKeeper payment?

The JobKeeper payment is an amount up to $1,500 per fortnight, paid to eligible businesses to support the wages of their eligible employees, and one eligible business participant (which would apply to a sole trader, business founder or director of a company), recurring for up to six months.

Any business that’s had a reduction in revenue of 30 percent or more over at least one month since 1 March, 2020, can apply for the subsidy.

To find the most complete and up to date information about how the ATO is administering the JobKeeper payments, we recommend referring to the relevant ATO webpage.

And as the ATO readies to open enrolments from 20 April, it’s now urging businesses to become familiar with the process they’ll need to undertake in order to receive their subsidies.

“At this stage employers should focus on determining their and their employees’ eligibility and desire to participate, and should discuss ongoing work arrangements with their employees,” said Deputy Commissioner James O’Halloran.

“The ATO website has all the information employers need to know about how to get ready.

“Alternatively, contact your tax representative for assistance and advice specific to your circumstances.”

Click to download MYOB's JobKeeper Cheatsheet.

Useful resources regarding the JobKeeper scheme:

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A summary of the JobKeeper enrolment process for employers


In order to receive JobKeeper payments from the first week of May, employers will need to:

  • Have paid their eligible employees a minimum of $1500 per fortnight (before tax) for the period between 30 March and the end of April. The payments for the first two fortnights need to be made by the end of April to receive the JobKeeper payment in the first week of May
  • Meet all eligibility requirements, as outlined on the ATO website
  • Enrol in the JobKeeper payment program, once the enrolment process opens on 20 April

UPDATE: The ATO has advised the window for enrollment to receive the first JobKeeper payments has been extended to 31 May, 2020.

When you submit your enrolment to the ATO, you’ll be provided with an acknowledgement and acceptance of your enrolment into the JobKeeper program based on the information you provide.

Please note: this means information you supply to the ATO must be complete and accurate. The ATO has said it will have the ability to claw back payments if its data collation processes reveal any discrepancies or actions made in bad faith.

The ATO has also encouraged employers to discuss their businesses’ eligibility and participation in JobKeeper with their employees.

“We know this payment is vital for the community, and we want every eligible employer to be ready to receive the JobKeeper Payments to help keep Australians in jobs,” said O’Halloran.

“As you would expect we will have systems in place to ensure that the payment is made to the eligible employers and will monitor any claims over the months that attract our attention,” Deputy Commissioner O’Halloran said.

 

Anyone impacted by COVID-19 should visit ato.gov.au/coronavirus to see what additional support and assistance is available from the ATO. If you need to consult with an accredited advisor, see MYOB’s Partner Search page.